From Crain’s Cleveland Business:


• Politico runs an essay by Travis Kavulla, director of energy and environment policy at the R Street Institute, a free market-oriented think tank, that argues nuclear plant operators “are gaming climate-change rules” and says that in “state after state, operators have figured out how turn green-power incentives into sweetheart deals.” From the piece: “In numerous states, companies with large investments in nuclear energy — including Exelon, FirstEnergy, Dominion and PSEG — have lobbied states to reconfigure their clean-power incentives to subsidize existing nuclear plants, rather than the emergent technologies that the laws were intended for. The result is a contagion of subsidies to nuclear power plants that started in Democratic states like Illinois and New York in 2016, spread to Connecticut in 2017 and New Jersey in 2018. Bills to this effect are now being considered by Republican-led chambers in Ohio and Pennsylvania. If those measures pass, nuclear interests will have executed a clean sweep of the six northeastern states that have the largest quantities of nuclear generation.” He calls the subsidies “an elaborate greenwashing that neither returns money to the public nor further reduces carbon emissions” and notes that the bill in Ohio would repeal incentives for renewable technologies. He’s not a fan of the process, either, noting, “In Ohio and Pennsylvania, the whole drama is unfolding on terms dictated by the nuclear plant owners, with utility corporations making threats to shut down certain facilities to force sweeping legislative action without the time for meaningful scrutiny.” He concludes, “The necessity of acting on climate change is palpable in our politics today. But the answer is a genuine competition between low-emission producers through a market for carbon, not handouts to the nuclear industry.”

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